Elaine Chao on Principles & Values
Secretary of Labor (Pres. Bush Cabinet)
1993: Married Mitch McConnell on Ronald Reagan's birthday
Elaine Chao's family had immigrated to America from Taiwan when she was 8 and spoke no English. Her family settled in a tiny apartment in Queens, NY, before moving to Long Island, where Elaine attended high school. She went on to earn an undergraduate
degree from Mount Holyoke and an MBA from Harvard. A White House fellow for Reagan in 1983, she rose to be deputy secretary of transportation. In 1991, she was appointed director of the Peace Corps, and the next year she became president of the
United Way, where her 4-year tenure won plaudits for successfully restoring the scandal-tainted reputation of America's largest institution of private charitable giving.
Chao and Senator Mitch McConnell would marry, fittingly for a pair of increasingly
powerful conservatives, on Ronald Reagan's birthday, February 6, 1993. She brought much-needed affection, companionship, and intellectual stimulation to McConnell's life, and each proved an asset to the other in their ongoing political ascents.
Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p. 92-3
, Sep 15, 2010
Strong experience in private, public and nonprofit sectors
When President George W. Bush nominated Elaine L. Chao, the first Asian-American woman appointed to a President’s cabinet in U. S. history, he described her as an individual with “strong executive talent, compassion, and commitment to
helping people build better lives.” Her experiences and skills as an executive and leader in the private, public and nonprofit sectors uniquely qualify her to head the U.S. Department of Labor.
Source: Bush Cabinet Dept. of Labor web site, “Secretary’s Bio”
, Feb 3, 2001
Page last updated: Mar 10, 2019